The 4 Best Foods that Fight Allergies

Benefits of nuts

Autumn is the season where we watch the leaves change colors on the trees and invite our kids or grandkids over to jump in those leaves. But it can also bring seasonal allergies and other unpleasant conditions, such as cold and flu.

4 Foods That Can Help Fight Allergies This Spring

1. Fish:

If you want foods that fight allergies, then look no further than fish—a food rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce your inflammation, an unfortunate symptom of seasonal allergies, colds, and flu.

Try to eat fish at least a couple times a week, including salmon, pollock, sardines, and mackerel. If you’re cooking your fish, avoid frying; try grilling or baking to get the healthiest kick out of your meal.

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2. Nuts:

When it comes to nuts, moderation is key. While they are a high-fat, high-caloric food, they’re also really filling. Nuts are foods that help fight allergies because, similar to fish, they also contain inflammation-reducing omega-3s.

A good guideline is to limit yourself to a handful of nuts a day (1.5 ounces/42.5 grams) as a snack. The nuts most packed with omega-3 fatty acids are walnuts, but you can also add in cashews, Brazil nuts, and hazelnuts for variety.

3. Ginger:

That stuffed up feeling—not to mention the runny nose—that goes along with most seasonal allergies can make you feel absolutely miserable. But this natural decongestant will make you forget all about your allergies.

It’s also known as an immune system builder, so it can help fight off that cold or flu bug—other illnesses that often come along with seasonal allergies. It’s better to buy fresh gingerroot than ginger powder whenever you can; most grocery stores have it in their vegetable aisles these days.

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You can add ginger to almost anything—meat marinades, sauces, stir-fry dishes, vegetable sides, salad dressing, or soups.

4. All-natural fruit juice

This is another type of food that helps fight allergies. As the temperatures start to drop, you’ll be more likely to catch a cold or the flu. Start boosting your vitamin C levels early by drinking all-natural fruit juice containing vitamin C, such as orange or grapefruit juice to protect yourself against these seasonal nasties.

Considering that about 40 million Americans and about five million Canadians suffer from seasonal allergies, it’s important to incorporate foods that help fight allergies into your diet. Not only are seasonal allergies uncomfortable, but they also come with a high price.

All types of Allergies cost the American health care system about $14.5 billion a year. Although that number includes the cost of caring for people with food allergies too, considering the amount of people with seasonal allergies, then you can just imagine that seasonal allergies also play a role in upping that number. The cost of seasonal flu is extremely high too: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that almost $90.0 billion is spent every year on seasonal flu (that number takes into account medical costs, hospitalizations, outpatient visits, and lost working time).

If there’s a way to decrease that cost, then that’s what we should be doing by using natural remedies and eating these foods that help fight allergies. At the end of the day, your healthy lifestyle will benefit more than just you.


Sources:
Price, M., “Foods that reduce allergy and asthma symptoms,” The Examiner May 13, 2009.
“Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health,” Mayo Clinic web site; http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nuts/HB00085/NSECTIONGROUP=2; last accessed March 25, 2013.
“Seasonal allergies: Something to sneeze at,” CBC News web site, March 19, 2010; http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2010/03/19/f-seasonal-allergies-symptoms.html
“Allergy facts and figures,” Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America web site; http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=30
Dobson, R., “Flu costs the US $90bn a year, report shows,” BMJ. June 2, 2007; 334(7604): 1134.